FBC vrs VocRehab

I have been putting off this post because I have been so frustrated with the whole ordeal that I didn’t want to even think about it any more let alone write about it. I just can’t believe how crazy things can get when you have a child with special needs and they are trying to better themselves by going to college and earn the degree they need to have the career they want and live out their life’s dream…

Being the mother of a blind child, my daughter, Shantel, I’ve had my share of dealing with schools that were ill prepared to educate my child. I’ve had to negotiate and navigate my way through the schools, the school districts, and the laws governing the rights of people with disabilities. As if it wasn’t hard enough to deal with the challenges I faced just trying to make sure my child had everything she needed to compete with her sighted peers, in learning the in’s and out’s of our educational institutions, and government programs designed to “help” those with disabilities become independent, contributing members of society, the “resources” made available to us, left me less than impressed to say the least.

I’ve had the High School and District “experts” tell me my child could stay in High School until she was twenty-one years old if that was how long it took for her to earn her diploma, to which I was quick to point out to them that if my child had a learning disability I would be fine with her staying in High School that long, but since she doesn’t, she wasn’t going to stay one minute longer than her sighted  peers just because the school and/or the district didn’t want to do their jobs. It would be an understatement to say I wasn’t the person they wanted to deal with one minute longer than they had to either.

Now, fast forward through High School. Shantel is now over 18 and I can no longer advocate for her. She is now in college where She is learning how to negotiate and navigate her own way through the in’s and out’s of all the institutions and government agencies to get what she needs to earn her degree.

Shantel is supposed to be supported by Vocational Rehab (VocRehab), which is a government agency that helps people with disabilities get their education so they get good jobs and don’t have to depend on the “system” all their lives for support. VocRehab pays the tuition for their clients and in return, when their clients get good jobs/careers, they agree to do work for VocRehab for a predetermined amount of time to pay back what they were given. All sounds simple and good right?

Shantel received a call from the Foundation For Blind Children, a non-profit organization, (FBC) letting her know they would be interceding on her behalf between her college and VocRehab in regards to making sure her tuition, books, etc. were paid for in a timely manner so she wouldn’t be dropped from classes due to non-payment. That happened last semester and Shantel had to go around to all her Professors asking if she could remain in their classes until the matter could be resolved between VocRehab and the college. All her Professors agreed to let Shantel remain in their classes and the matter was eventually resolved. But, if her Professors hadn’t agreed, Shantel could have spent most of the semester in her classes and not have earned any credits and would have had to take all the classes over! Apparently, some VocRehab client accounts were even turned over to collection agencies!!!

Apparently, VocRehab can’t seem to get their act together enough to get tuition, books etc.  payments into the colleges in a timely manner for their clients, so FBC is stepping in to manage VocRehab’s financial responsibilities. In addition, FBC will be responsible for ensuring all of VocRehabs clients have all the mobility, IT and skill set support they need to be successful as they earn their degrees.

While I am happy FBC agreed to step in to help make sure Shantel will have everything she needs and all money due will be paid on time to her college, I also have to say if this sort of thing happened when I was working in my job in Corporate America…I wouldn’t have been around long enough for my boss to ask someone else to come and babysit my job, I  would be looking for a new job or standing in the unemployment line!

In my opinion, VocRehab is an embarrassment to the clients they are supposed to be helping and what a waste of government dollars in keeping them in business…!

Next: Social Security – The saga continues!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gotham girl
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 20:02:30

    I think you should submit this to the opinion sections to various newspapers. You’ve already done the work, just a little more to submit. Our tax dollars at work. Bull shit. How did FBC find out about Shantel? xoxox counting days!


    • beyondcinderella
      Jul 02, 2012 @ 20:33:40

      That’s a great idea frissy, I will look into submitting to the newspapers. To answer your question about how FBC found out about Shantel,,,believe it or not, VocRehab referred all their clients to FBC for them to oversee the financial, IT, and skill set piece of the accounts. How about that! So now it takes a non-profit (FBC), and VocRehab to do the job VocRehab is supposed to be doing! More! GH


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